The combination of tears and a sizable ring is typically accompanied by a marriage proposal. For Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman, the mixed emotions came from celebrating a World Series championship while mourning a difficult break-up.
Friday night, Freeman made his emotional return to Atlanta, a city he called home for 12 seasons. What awaited him at Truist Park before the first pitch was a World Series ring … and a standing ovation.
Prior to the start of Friday night’s game, Freeman was honored with his World Series ring. It was just one of the many times Atlanta Braves fans cheered on their former star in his return.
Freeman played a key role in Atlanta’s unlikely postseason run in 2021. The first baseman recorded 17 hits, 11 RBIs and five home runs in 16 games. In Game 6 of the World Series, Freeman accounted for two RBIs, including a solo home run in the seventh inning to lead the Braves to a 7-0 victory and claim MLB‘s highest honor.
During the offseason, Freeman tested the free agency market. He was not able to reach an agreement with the Braves and eventually signed a six-year contract worth $162 million with the Dodgers.
Fans in Atlanta will always have a soft spot for Freeman after such a successful 12-year run with the organization. However, many probably would’ve preferred to see a little less of him at the plate Friday night.
In his return to Truist Park, Freeman reached base three times, twice via walk and once on a single. He scored two runs in the Dodgers’ 4-1 victory over the Braves to open the three-game series.
Freddie Freeman’s Emotions Ran High All Day in Return to Atlanta
The ring ceremony prior to the first pitch wasn’t the only time Freeman’s emotions caught the best of him. He teared up multiple times throughout the day in his return to Atlanta.
It started in a pregame press conference when Freeman spoke with reporters. The five-time All-Star first baseman got choked up multiple times while attempting to field questions from the media.
“It’s really hard to put into words. I can’t even look at you guys because I know I’m not gonna get through it,” Freeman said, wiping away tears. “I don’t know all the emotions — it’s hard to put into words. I’m just happy to be back. This organization, the people, the media people who have covered my family with grace and love over the last 12 years — it’s hard.”
A few minutes after receiving the World Series ring, Freeman stepped into the batter’s box for the first time in a Dodgers’ uniform at Truist Park. It was another awesome moment.
Fans gave Freeman another standing ovation, celebrating his Atlanta accomplishments for nearly a full minute before play resumed. Once again, the first baseman was overcome with emotion.
When the game ended, Freeman admitted that he “couldn’t feel his legs” for a few innings.
“I tried to envision what tonight was gonna be like, and this far exceeded my expectations,” Freeman said, according to ESPN. “It was just a special, special evening.”
About Atlanta’s World Series Rings …
They’ve been talked about ad nauseam since the start of the season, but Freddie Freeman finally got an up-close look at the Atlanta Braves’ World Series rings on Friday night.
In case you’ve forgotten, those rings are immaculate pieces of jewelry. Per Front Office Sports, they contain 18.71 karat white gold with one “genuine” pearl (a tribute to Joc Pederson) and 755 diamonds to honor Hank Aaron’s home run total.
Let’s be honest, if you received one of those beauties, you might just tear up, too.